Save Your Nuts is the woodland-themed party game that has you competing in the Nutlympics for the Epic Nut from the Tree of Life.
If that line hasn’t already got you wanting to play, perhaps the rest of this review might. Here’s a look at the trailer:
At A Glance, Save Your Nuts Is A Hilarious Take on a Well-Established Concept…
Save Your Nuts is a fun collection of minigames for up to eight players to get involved in. It pits a whole host of woodland creatures against one another in chaotic nut-stealing combat.
The game instantly strikes me as a fantastic party game, appropriate for all ages. It boasts online capabilities, too, so it’s perfect to play with your friends if you want something more lighthearted and fun to virtually get together around.
Graphically, Save Your Nuts is cartoonish and colorful.
Save Your Nuts is stylistically satisfying in this regard. It’s full of bright colors and cartoonish sprites which remind me of the animals that might appear in a Disney feature. They may not be rendered too highly, but this doesn’t matter when they’re sprinting across a nondescript backyard headbutting one another.
It does get a little confusing on who’s who at times with all the cartoonish explosions and smoke clouds ( classically signaling a bit of a scrap between two squirrels ). However, there is a helpful marker above each player to help you find your way in the chaos.
The look of each stage was an aspect I enjoyed the most. They were busy enough as to not feel like empty arenas but not too cluttered to confuse. There were also parts that featured a cartoonish black outline, something you might see in the Borderlands games, albeit less detailed. This detail, while small, helped to tie together the whole look of the game perfectly.
Save Your Nuts boasts simple gameplay that is easy to pick up and hard to master.
The majority of gameplay in Save Your Nuts is simple. You run, you jump, you headbutt and you can throw things. It’s not ground-breaking, but it’s perfect for what you need. It plays smoothly, and I couldn’t find any complaints with it.
It isn’t all as simple as jumping and punching though, Save Your Nuts boast a degree of strategy to those who think they can handle it. Everyone has a temporary shield they can activate every few seconds. This bubble offers complete protection, but it only lasts a second. To make the most of it, you have to make sure your timing is perfect.
In addition to this, there are a number of power-ups scattered about each level in the form of food. Grabbing one of these grants a number of bonuses. Mostly, they are either speed or strength buff, but there is also one that provides you with a shield. This one lasts a lot longer and is undoubtedly the most helpful of the lot. In some cases, these power-ups make the difference between winning and losing.
Although Save Your Nuts is simplistic in the way it plays, and the degree of strategy it allows for is nothing special, it makes for a fun experience that’s not too challenging as to put people off. It’s a game that can be played by all ages and reinforces the fact that it’s a fantastic party game to add to your library.
It isn’t just squirrels that are going after the Epic Nut…
There are six playable woodland creatures to chose from in Save Your Nuts. Four of them are available to play straight away, and each is titled according to their strengths. Squirrels are Runners, the fastest of the selection. Sausage Dogs are Diggers; I’m not sure exactly where they fit in with the larger cast of animals, but they’re cute. Moles are tanks, and I have no argument against this. Finally, Raccoons are Carriers. I’ve played as a raccoon a few times, and it doesn’t feel like they’re any better at carrying than the others, but I may be missing something.
There are two more creatures that are locked, only offering greyed-out silhouettes. You can hazard a guess on what creatures they may be, but this is something I look forward to uncovering.
Apart from picking which creature you want, Save Your Nuts also lets you customize yourself… to a degree, anyway. There’s a selection of novelty hats as well as a variety of color schemes for you to choose from. While unnecessary, who doesn’t love a novelty hat?
I discovered that speed was the most important factor when playing. I was far more successful as a Runner than as any other class. As long as you can outrun your opponent, you’re fine. During battles, admittedly, this was less important, but I found I was still more successful as a Runner than any other class. The gameplay is chaotic in the best possible way. Save Your Nuts is quick, and you need to have your wits if you’re going to win.
There are three ways you can Save Your Nuts…
Save Your Nuts offers three main game-modes for you to get stuck into: Capture the Nut, Battle, and Thieves.
Capture the Nut is a fairly standard re-telling of capture the flag. There’s one nut on the field at a time, and you have to capture five in five minutes to win.
Battle is the second game-mode that Save Your Nuts offers, and it is similar to the battles featured on Mario Kart. Each player has three lives, and you must be the last alive to win. A simple headbutt is all it takes to take someone’s life, so gameplay is simple enough. The fact that it is still in 4v4 teams, like the other modes, makes it interesting. But I found that this was the least enjoyable of the three game-modes despite it being the easiest to win.
Thieves is where Save Your Nuts really thrives as a game. It’s a similar concept to Capture the Nut but with two key differences. Firstly, you can steal nuts from the other team’s safe house. Secondly, all five nuts are out at once. As you can imagine, it is as chaotic as it is fun. Thankfully, there is a timer on this round. Otherwise, it might go on forever. You don’t need to have all five to win when the timer runs out, just the majority of them. I found that it was always a 3-2 split and very difficult to get four nuts, let alone the fifth.
Each stage offers alternate ways to play these game modes, but their roots remain largely the same throughout, so it never gets too confusing. The Soccer Pitch and Basketball Court stages just bring further variation to Save Your Nuts gameplay.
You can Save Your Nuts across a variety of stages, too.
There are ten stages to choose from, with three unlocked at the start. These vary from believable locations like Backyard and Park to Space Station and Pirate Ships. Each level’s design is unique enough that it doesn’t get boring. They each provide a new challenge to overcome.
What I enjoyed was the fact that each one seemed to offer an interesting feature. For example, Park had an alligator chilling in some water who would attack you if you got too close, and Train Station had two trains which periodically split up the map and damage you if you’re in the way.
Save Your Nuts’ Story is simple but fun.
From the short cutscene at the start, you learn a lot. It’s simple but perfectly encapsulates the silliness of the whole game. It also explains why there’s more than just squirrels going after the nuts. The Epic Nut from the Tree of Life is undoubtedly a valuable asset. You find yourself admiring the tenacity of the squirrels, a creature you feel that will never quite be the alpha woodland creature when there are Moles around. Thinking about it, the whole thing would make for a good animated feature film…
On the whole, Save Your Nuts is a family-friendly game full of fun.
Save Your Nuts is a great game, and I am glad I got to play it. Although it’s simple enough to play, there is a degree of strategy which helps keep it interesting. However, like many party games, you can’t play it for too long, as there is only so much to do. Still, with the addition of computer-controlled bots, it’s fun both with or without friends and something I can see myself going back to again and again.
Save Your Nuts, by Triple Scale Games, comes to PC, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch April 16. For updates, make sure you keep an eye on @TripleScale, the official Twitter account. For more reviews from the Gamezo team, check out our Reviews Page.